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GLOBAL

ISLAMIC FINANCE EDUCATION 2013


Special Report
DISCLAIMER
The contents of the Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 report are based on a combination of quantitative and qualitative
data collected mostly from secondary sources and in some cases from primary sources. Subjective judgments and best
estimations were used where data was not complete or unavailable. Quantitative data were collected from publicly available
sources.

We are not assuring the completeness or accuracy of the information obtained from various published sources. While
sincere care has been taken in collecting, organizing, and presenting the data in this report, Yurizk do not hold responsibility
as to the accuracy or completeness of the data, and their analysis. The scope of this report is limited to publicly available
information and therefore completeness cannot be assured. Due to uncertainty involved with the passage of time, accuracy
at the time of publishing this report is also not guaranteed.
CONTENT OVERVIEW

o Report Summary 1 2 o Geographic Distribution


o Definition o Distribution by Metrics
o Methodology o Rankings by Number
INTRODUCTION FINDINGS
o Classification o Comparative Analysis

o Intellectual Contributions o Key Challenges


by Industry Practitioners, CHALLENGES & o Envisioning the Future
BONUS SECTION
RECOMMENDATIONS
Thought Leaders, and o Recommendations
Academic Scholars
4 3
REPORT SUMMARY
Islamic Finance industry, which has been growing at an unprecedented rate of 15 – 20% per year since last couple of years,
is still at its nascent stage as some say with many challenges ahead, human resources development being one of them.

Since last decade the number of academic and knowledge services providers for Islamic Finance industry have increased
significantly in order to bridge the demand and supply gap and also to tap into the profit opportunity from a burgeoning
economic sector. There has not been any comprehensive analysis of the education sector of this industry as to where it
stands today in terms of knowledge and research based innovation. GIFE 2013 is a ground breaking initiative in that regard
that brings about critical insight to gauge the current status as well as the future outlook, critical challenges facing
the harmonious and long term growth of this flourishing economic sector.

GIFE 2013 is a special and timely report that explores the distribution of Islamic Economics and Finance education across
the world by using several metrics such as the number of Islamic Finance education providers, geographic distribution,
language of instruction, delivery method, type of programs, intellectual vs. skill based programs etc.

According to our research data, we concluded that 85% of the educational initiatives within Islamic Finance industry are
potential contributors towards professional development and only 15% of the initiatives are potential contributors of research
and developments.

Among the key challenges facing Islamic Economics and Finance education are lack of quality human resources,
insufficient quality initiatives in research and development, lack of comprehensive curriculum and international standard
textbooks, and lack of funding. As the Islamic Economic and Finance industry set to become part of the mainstream
economy and financial system urgent strategic steps are necessary to resolve the challenges set forth in this report.
WHAT ARE IFEKSP (ISLAMIC FINANCE EDUCATION & KNOWLEDGE
SERVICES PROVIDERS)?
For the purpose of this research, we defined IFEKSP (Islamic Finance Education and Knowledge Services
Providers) as organizations that provide any one or more of the following in the subjects of ‘Islamic Economics’
and/or ‘Islamic Finance’:

Dedicated degree programs ( Bachelors, Masters, PhD)

Courses within a degree program (Electives, Major courses)

Independent short courses (Non-degree)

Diploma (Postgraduate / Higher, Regular)

Certification

Training Courses ( Individual, Corporate )

Seminar, Workshop, Awareness programs

Research (Primarily academic)

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 5


METHODOLOGY
Our research was conducted using both primary and secondary sources. Data were collected as follows:

Primary Data

Organizations that fall under our definition of IFEKSP submitted their


information through web based forms provided by Yurizk.

Approximately 5% of the total data were collected from primary


sources.

Secondary Data
Our secondary research was conducted through web based search,
and sourced from institution websites, news and information services,
directories, press releases, and published interviews.

95% of our research data are from this category and all of them are
from publicly available sources.

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 6


SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS
We took every care to ensure data accuracy as humanly as possible. The following are the scope and limitation of
the report.

Scope Limitations

The scope of our research is broader than Countries that restrict access of information,
any other previous researches conducted could not be covered to obtain accurate and
on Islamic Finance education. comprehensive status. For example, Iran may
have more institutions that offer Islamic
Our research included both academic and Finance courses, but due to limited access,
non-academic institutions. only publicly viewable data were included.
This may not give a true picture of the state of
It covered the entire world and not just any Islamic Finance education in such countries
specific segment or region. which may also reflect on the global
distribution.
All our data were collected from publicly
available published sources. Any data that is As new courses are being offered every year,
not available publicly were not included in this and recent years experienced significant
report. boom in IF education, we cannot guarantee
data accuracy and comprehensiveness at
the time of publication of this report.

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 7


CLASSIFICATION OF DATASETS
For the purpose of our research we classified our datasets as follows:

Classified As Explanation of Classified Category

Academic Universities, Colleges, Higher Learning Institutions that offer academic courses

Non-Academic Institutions offering non-academic courses such as training, workshop, seminars, and research that are
academic in nature

Classified As Explanation of Classified Category

Intellectual Programs that potentially contribute towards research and innovation. Dedicated degree programs,
PhD, dedicated research fall under this category.
Skill Based Programs and courses that potentially contribute towards professional development and skill building
for the Islamic Financial institutions. Training, workshops, short courses, elective/major courses fall
under this category.

Classified As Explanation of Classified Category

Distant Learning Courses that are delivered as self –study, live online modules, recorded web based learning, research
based studies
In-Class Courses and lessons conducted in class at a designated location

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 8


CLASSIFICATION OF DATASETS: TYPE OF PROGRAM AND
COURSE

Classified As Explanation of Classified Category

DDP (Dedicated Degree Program) Bachelors degree, masters degree, PhD, MBA

LTD (Leading to Degree) Elective and major courses under dedicated degree programs

ISC (Independent Short Course) Short courses that are not part of any degree program, non-credit courses

Dp (Diploma) Postgraduate diploma, any higher diploma or regular diploma courses

C Certification: Non degree certification courses offered by public and private, non-
profit and for profit organizations
T Training: individual and corporate training by public and private organizations for skill
building (both non-profit and for profit institutions)
S/A Seminar and awareness programs offered by academic, research and public
institutions
W Workshops conducted by academic, research and financial institutions for skill
building
R Research conducted by academic, non-profit, government, and private
organizations with primary activity listed as research for Islamic Finance

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 9


DISTRIBUTION OF ISLAMIC FINANCE EDUCATION & KNOWLEDGE
SERVICE PROVIDERS BY WORLD REGION

Sub-Saharan Africa Oceania


6%
742 IFEKSP
2%

5 6
4 North America
8%

Asia
Middle East & 43%
North Africa 1
19%
3

Europe
22%
2
Asia, home of the largest
Muslim population hosts
43% of global IFEKSP
Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 10
DISTRIBUTION OF ISLAMIC FINANCE EDUCATION & KNOWLEDGE
SERVICE PROVIDERS BY COUNTRY
Afghanistan 3 India 28 Philippines 5
Algeria 1 Indonesia 31 Qatar 4
Australia 16 Iran 2 Russia 6
Azerbaijan 1 Iraq 1 Saudi Arabia 19
Bahrain 20 Ireland 8 Seychelles 1
Bangladesh 22 Italy 5 Singapore 15
Belgium 2 Japan 4 South Africa 8
Bosnia & Herzegovina 3 Jordan 6 Spain 5
Brunei 4 Kazakhstan 1 Sri Lanka 8
Cambodia 1 Kenya 6 Sudan 5
Canada 15 Kuwait 7 Sweden 3
China 1 Lebanon 9 Switzerland 6
Cyprus 1 Libya 3 Taiwan 2
Denmark 3 Luxembourg 5 Tanzania 3
Egypt 9 Malaysia 86 The Netherlands 2
Finland 1 Maldives 3 Tunisia 4
France 12 Mauritius 6 Turkey 12
Gambia 2 Morocco 3 Uganda 1
Germany 7 Nepal 1 United Arab Emirates 43
Ghana 2 Nigeria 11 United Kingdom 86
Hong Kong 8 Oman 7 United States 44
Hungary 2 Pakistan 88 Yemen 3

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 11


TOP 10 COUNTRIES BY NUMBER OF ISLAMIC FINANCE
EDUCATION AND KNOWLEDGE SERVICES PROVIDERS

Pakistan 88

Malaysia 86

United Kingdom 86

United States 44
Pakistan tops the chart with 88 institutions
United Arab Emirates 43 that offer education and knowledge services
in Islamic Finance in the country. 74 of these
Indonesia 31 are academic and 14 are non-academic
Institutions.
India 28 Malaysia and United Kingdom come second
with 86 institutions offering Islamic Finance
Bangladesh 22 education and knowledge services.

Bahrain 20 United States and United Arab Emirates take


fourth and fifth position with 44 and 43
institutions respectively. In case of
Saudi Arabia 19
United States 41 are universities and higher
learning institutions.

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 12


DISTRIBUTION OF ACADEMIC VS. NON ACADEMIC
INSTITUTIONS IN TOP 10 COUNTRIES
Academic & Higher Learning Non – Academic
(Universities & Colleges) (Training, Awareness and Other)

74 Pakistan Malaysia 38

49 United Kingdom United Kingdom 37

48 Malaysia United Arab Emirates 15

41 United States Pakistan 14

28 United Arab Emirates India 14

24 Indonesia Bahrain 13

14 India Bangladesh 9

13 Bangladesh Saudi Arabia 8

11 Saudi Arabia Indonesia 7

7 Bahrain United States 3

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 13


DISTRIBUTION BY TYPE OF INSTITUTION:
ACADEMIC VS. NON-ACADEMIC
61% of the Global Islamic Finance Education and
Knowledge Services Providers are Universities
and Higher Learning Institutions

39% Institution Type Number

61% Academic 456

Non-Academic 286

Academic Non-Academic

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 14


TYPE OF INSTITUTIONS: PUBLIC VS. PRIVATE
ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS
There are more Private institutions than
Public institutions in Islamic Finance
Education Sector

4%

47%
49%

Public Private Other

Data 2012

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 15


DISTRIBUTION BY INSTRUCTION LANGUAGE
800

95%
700
95% of the
600 institutions deliver
their Islamic Finance
500
programs in English
400

300 Other Languages


of Instructions

200 German
Italian
100 Spanish
Russian
1.5% 0.8% 0.8% 0.5% 0.5% 0.8%
Urdu
0 Bengali
English Bahasa Bahasa Turkish Arabic French Other
Indonesian Malaysia

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 16


DISTANT LEARNING VS. TRADITIONAL IN CLASS LEARNING:
TRENDS AND OPPORTUNITIES
eLearning programs are on the rise since
last 5 years. This can significantly address
the challenge of human capital
10% development globally

20 18

14
15

10
10 8
7
5
5

0
90% 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
(1Q)

Distant Learning Classroom Learning

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 17


DISTRIBUTION BY LEVEL OF PROGRAM

361
Both academic and non-academic institutions are
primarily focused on skill building or professional
development to fill in the demand gap.
Professional Development:
programs under this category
are certifications, training,
independent short courses,
214
professional development
seminars, diploma, higher
diploma, tailored workshops.

124

47
30 30
20

Professional Masters Bachelors Awareness PhD Research MBA


Development

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 18


INTELLECTUAL VS. SKILL BASED PROGRAMS

How will research Intellectual


and development (PhD, Dedicated Degree
be facilitated for Programs, Research)
future growth & 15%
sustainability?

Skill Based
85% (Certifications, Workshops,
Training, Diploma, Seminars
Short Courses etc.)

Intellectual Skill Based

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 19


DISTRIBUTION OF ISLAMIC FINANCE EDUCATION AND
KNOWLEDGE SERVICES PROVIDERS IN ASIA

Country Number Country Number


Driving Forces
Afghanistan 3 Kazakhstan 1
Azerbaijan 1 Malaysia 86 2
Pakistan Malaysia
5 Bangladesh 22 Maldives 3
Brunei 4 Nepal 1 Rising Popularity
Cambodia 1 Pakistan 88 1
China 1 Philippines 5
Indonesia India
Hong Kong 8 Russia 6
4 India 28 Singapore 15
3 Indonesia 31 Sri Lanka 8 Bangladesh Singapore

Japan 4 Taiwan 2 Emerging Markets


Source: Yurizk Research Database (August 2013)

Russia Hong Kong


Asia has 318 institutions that offer Islamic Finance
education and knowledge services
Sri Lanka Philippines
Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 20
RECENT GROWTH TREND OF IFEKSP IN ASIA
Increasing number of new IFEKSP entered in the
2014
2012 Asian market since 2010. 2012, 2013 saw rapid
2010
2008
growth in the number of new IFEKSP in Asia
2006
2004
2002
2000 2014
2012
1998
2010
1996 2008
1994 2006
2004
1992 2002
1990 2000
1998
1996
1994
1992
1990

Asia Malaysia
Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 21
A CLOSER LOOK AT IFEKSP IN ASIA
Academic Professional Development Research and Innovation
Non-Academic
Out of the total 318, 199 are
13%
academic, and 119 are non-
academic institutions.
37% 87% courses and programs
contribute towards professional
63% development
87%
Research
79
Training, Seminar, Workshops, Short Courses

Certifications

8 Diploma
34
40 MBA
33

Elective Course
33
20
33 Major Course
13 12 12
5
Degree
Bachelors Masters PhD Research Professional
Development

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 22


DISTRIBUTION OF IFEKSP IN EUROPE

Country Institutions
Belgium 2
“United Kingdom leads Islamic
Bosnia & Herzegovina 3 Finance Education Services in
Cyprus 1 Europe with 53% of the total
Denmark 3
Finland 1 IFEKSP in the region”
2 France 12
Germany 7
Hungary 2
Ireland 8
Italy 5
Luxembourg 5
Spain 5
Sweden 3
Switzerland 6
The Netherlands 2
2 Turkey 12
United Kingdom 86 1
Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 23
RECENT GROWTH TREND IN LAUNCH OF NEW IFEKSP IN
EUROPE

30
2009 and 2012
experienced a booming
25 period for Islamic
Finance education in
20 Europe with launch of
many new programs
15 and courses

10
Emerging Markets
5

0
2004 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 France Turkey

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 24


DRIVERS OF RECENT GROWTH IN EUROPE

Source: The Journal of Turkish Weekly Source: The Times

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 25


A CLOSER LOOK AT IFEKSP IN EUROPE

77% of the courses and programs


Research and
are contributing towards professional
Non-
Academic
Innovation
23% development, 23% towards R&I
39%
Professional
Academic Development
61% 77%

89

39

Research
Training, Seminar, Workshop, Short Course
Certifications 18
29
Diploma
13 12
Elective / Major 5
3 1
Degree Bachelors Masters PhD Research Professional
Development

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 26


DISTRIBUTION OF IFEKSP IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND
NORTH AFRICA

Algeria 1 United Arab Emirates leads in MENA with


Bahrain 20 2
Egypt 9
43 institutions which is 30% of the total
Iran 2 IFEKSP in the region
Iraq 1
Jordan 6
Kuwait 7
Lebanon 9
Libya 3
Morocco 3
Oman 7
Qatar 4
Saudi Arabia 19 3
Tunisia 4
United Arab Emirates 43 1
Yemen 3

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 27


A CLOSER LOOK AT IFEKSP IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND
NORTH AFRICA

82% courses and


Research &
Innovation
programs are contributing
18% towards professional
Non-
Academic
48% Academic Professional
development and 18%
52% Development
82% towards research &
innovation

45

Research

Training, Seminar, Workshop, Short Course


30
Certification
19
26 Diploma

15 Elective / Major
13 11
4 1
2 Degree
Bachelors Masters PhD Research Professional
Development

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 28


DISTRIBUTION OF IFEKSP IN NORTH AMERICA, SUB-SAHARAN
AFRICA, AND OCEANIA
2014
2012
United States 44
2010
Canada 15 2008
2006
Research &
2004
Innovation
26% 2002
Gambia 2 2000
Ghana 2 Professional
Development
Kenya 6 74%

Mauritius 6
Nigeria 11
Seychelles 1
South Africa 8
Sudan 5
Tanzania 3
Uganda 1

Australia 16

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 29


DISTRIBUTION OF IFEKSP IN OIC, OECD, AND BRICS
COUNTRIES
Distribution by number of IFEKSP Percentages of member countries
399 80% hosting IFEKSP

56%
53%
226

43

BRICS OECD OIC BRICS OECD OIC


BRICS
6%
Percentage distribution by
total number of IFEKSP

OECD
Although 60% of the total
34% IFEKSP belong to OIC,
OIC
60% only 53% of the member
countries host IFEKSP
Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 30
RECENT GROWTH TREND AND FUTURE PROJECTION

800
By 2016, total number of IFEKSP
700
worldwide may surpass 1250
600

500

400

300

200

100

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 31


RECENT TREND IN DEMAND BY PROGRAM TYPES

Detail available in Full Report

Sample Size Demographics (Region)


2,910 Asia, Europe, Africa, Americas,
Source: Yurizk Poll, Yurizk Web Queries (2012 – 2013) Oceania, Middle East

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 32


CHALLENGES FACING ISLAMIC FINANCE EDUCATION

Insufficient quality human resource is claimed as


Human critical challenge for Islamic Finance industry although
Capital 85% of the educational initiatives are towards
professional development. Where is the gap?

Only 15% of the global IF


educational initiatives are potential
Research &
contributors of R&D. What should be
Funding the way forward?
Innovation
Who will design a comprehensive
curriculum that addresses all the
challenges to produce next
generation human capital?
Curriculum
&
Textbooks How will the initiatives be funded?
Will there be conflict of interests?

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 33


DEVELOPING NEXT GENERATION HUMAN CAPITAL

1
SHARIAH SCHOLARS How do we visualize the next
generation Shariah Scholars?
2 ACADEMICIANS
How do we visualize the next
generation Academicians?
3
RESEARCH SCHOLARS What will be the role of next
generation Research Scholars?
4
SKILLED EMPLOYEES What will be expected from next
generation skilled employees?

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 34


DEVELOPING NEXT GENERATION HUMAN CAPITAL

1
Shariah Scholars
Qualification Standards?

Current initiatives?

Could this be the Vision?


1 2
Islamic Shariah
Arabic (Theology, Shariah, Maqasid Al
Shariah, Usul Al Fiqh, Fiqh, Fiqh al
Muamalaat, Islamic History, Hadith
Sciences etc.)
Mastery in all 4 areas
Shariah
Scholar

Economics
Finance & Banking
(Conventional + Islamic
(Conventional + Islamic)
Perspectives)
3 4

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 35


DEVELOPING NEXT GENERATION HUMAN CAPITAL

2
Qualification Standards?
Academicians
Current initiatives?

Could this be the Vision?


1 2
Islamic Shariah
Arabic (Theology, Shariah, Maqasid Al
Shariah, Usul Al Fiqh, Fiqh, Fiqh al
Muamalaat, Islamic History, Hadith
Sciences etc.)
Mastery in all 4 areas
Shariah
Scholar

Economics
Finance & Banking
(Conventional + Islamic
(Conventional + Islamic)
Perspectives)
3 4

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 36


DEVELOPING NEXT GENERATION HUMAN CAPITAL

3
Qualification Standards?
Research Scholars
Current initiatives?

Could this be the Vision?


1 2
Islamic Shariah
Arabic (Theology, Shariah, Maqasid Al
Shariah, Usul Al Fiqh, Fiqh, Fiqh al
Muamalaat, Islamic History, Hadith
Sciences etc.)
Mastery in all 4 areas
Shariah
Scholar

Economics
Finance & Banking
(Conventional + Islamic
(Conventional + Islamic)
Perspectives)
3 4

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 37


RECOMMENDATIONS

Long term, strategic and visionary approach


for human capital development

Clarity and unity in the objectives of research

Collaborating resources is the way forward

Building cutting edge infrastructures to


facilitate research & development

Utilization of modern technologies to


accelerate the process

Attracting global talents with efficient


marketing

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 38


BONUS SECTION

Industry Thought Leaders, Practitioners, Academic Scholars shared their


views on various issues of Islamic Finance Education

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 39


WHY ISLAMIC FINANCE TRAINING NEEDS TO CONFORM
TO AAOIFI STANDARDS
Ethica Institute of Islamic Finance

Without standardized training and certification, the Islamic finance But because these same detractors leave much to be desired in the
industry will continue to calcify in its old ways: no serious innovation way of a practical, scholar-approved blueprint for us to follow, what
into equity-based Musharakah and Mudarabah products; no practical the absence of a workable alternative will more likely lead to is
alternative to a fractional debt-reserve banking system; no global countless millions with a worse option (interest-based products) rather
gold-based currency; and no move away from debt-based mainstays. than a merely bad one (poorly implemented Islamic finance).

Instead, what we need in order to rebuild Islamic finance is a strong What we need is a move away from the current state of “anything
foundation of capable, trained individuals competent enough to goes” Islamic finance training and certification. What we need is
innovate products away from debt-based, fiat-based, cosmetically- standardized training and certification based on AAOIFI Shariah
enhanced conventional products for the rich and upper middle class to Standards. AAOIFI, (pronounced “a-yo-fee”), is the Accounting and
equity-based, asset-based, genuine products for all. Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions and the de
facto in over 90% of the world’s Islamic finance jurisdictions.
Yet, we continue to sing the praises of Islamic bankers at awards AAOIFI already brings together scholars from all over the world who
ceremonies, hymn the “growth” mantra of conventional economics, agree on Shariah standards and have put behind us the painstaking
and hope for the best. Somehow, someone, we believe, will one day task of harmonizing global standards.
make it all right. After all, Islamic finance is just starting out and it
only needs a little more time to work out the details, no? According to the Institute of Management Accountants, AAOIFI
standards are now mandatory in Bahrain, the Dubai International
Wrong. Where we are presently headed is an unabashed embrace of Financial Centre, Jordan, Qatar, Qatar Financial Centre, Sudan, South
conventional banking served up with a milquetoast nod to the Shariah. Africa, Syria, and the Islamic Development Bank. AAOIFI standards
If we go on without standardized training, nothing changes and we also form the basis for national standards in Bangladesh, Brunei,
continue as before. We lend further credence to detractors who France, Indonesia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Pakistan, Russian and
believe that Islamic finance is not working and what is needed is a Central States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the
complete revamp. United Kingdom.

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 41


“What we need is a move away from the current state of “anything goes”
Islamic finance training and certification. What we need is standardized
training and certification based on AAOIFI Shariah Standards.”

AAOIFI’s regularly updated texts have become the definitive


Winner of "Best Islamic Finance Qualification" at the Global
reference work for those seeking a comprehensive rule book about
Islamic Finance Awards, Ethica (www.EthicaInstitute.com) is
Islamic financial products and practices. Its 85 standards cover
trusted by more professionals for Islamic finance certification.
everything from accounting and auditing to governance and product-
Training and certifying professionals in over 100 financial
specific Shariah standards. The 16 to 20 scholars – the number
institutions in 56 countries, Ethica's 4-month Certified Islamic
depending on the year – who sit on AAOIFI’s Shariah Board are
Finance Executive™ (CIFE™) is a globally recognized certificate
leading Islamic finance scholars who come from the Gulf, South Asia,
accredited by scholars to fully comply with AAOIFI, the world's
South East Asia, Africa, and North America; each of them legally
leading Islamic finance standard. Ethica's award-winning CIFE™
qualified to issue a fatwa and adjudicate on matters Islamic finance.
is delivered 100% online or live at the bank. The Dubai-based
institute is now supported by Licensed Ethica Resellers in 11
If we are going to be serious about Islamic finance, we need to be
countries. For more information about this article, or to schedule an
serious about Islamic finance training. And being serious about
interview with Ethica Institute of Islamic Finance, please call +971-
training means being careful about what is being said. A scholar once
4-455-8690 or e-mail at info@ethicainstitute.com.
advised his student, “Find the best teacher and become the best
student.” The best “teacher” the Islamic finance industry presently has
is AAOIFI. Are we as “students” equal to the task?

© Ethica 2013-18 | www.ethicainstitute.com

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 42


CHALLENGES AND RESOLVES FOR ISLAMIC FINANCE
EDUCATION: A PRACTITIONER’S PERSPECTIVE
Muhammed Ikram Thowfeek, President, First Global Academy

Till today, since 2008, given the global financial crisis after crisis, ‘Islamic Finance Institutions (IFIs)’ within the industry are the
millions of people all over the world are suffering directly and/or bottlenecks to sustain the growth of the IF industry and become the
indirectly, whilst looking for alternatives to the conventional modes main stream global finance system.
of banking, financing and investments that can portray ethics and
fair dealings. These millions of people who are looking for an The simple answer to this challenging question is, bring
alternative system of banking and finance are yet to explore the “Awareness” globally, from laymen to intellectuals, coupled with
benefits, opportunities and the growth potentials of the Islamic “Education” from 16+ years to the PhDs. All those who are ‘Aware’
banking and finance industry. and also equipped with education on the subject matter will
definitely can make a ‘difference’ in the public domain and more
Unlike the conventional banking and finance that looks at any specifically at the institution level too, to raise the standards in every
financing and/or investment activity mostly from an economic and facets of the organization to compete and to go beyond their
financial benefits, whereas Islamic Finance (IF) goes beyond conventional counterparts, whilst sustaining the growth of the ‘IF’
economic and financial benefits, and looks at moral, ethical, social, industry and making it appealing to the global market.
and religious aspects of it, which are unique propositions that can
provide solutions to millions of people (both Muslim and non- Let’s look at “Awareness” - what are the challenges and resolves
Muslims) all over the world through equity participation, risk available to take this message of ‘IF’ globally to the laymen as well
sharing & fair dealing. as the intellectuals and to those in between, so that everyone
benefits.
The challenging question to ask is that, “if the ‘IF’ industry can
provide solutions to those individuals, corporate entities and the Three decades plus, from the birth of the modern experiments with
governments at large that are affected directly and/or indirectly by IF in 1975, till to date, only 20% of the market opportunities and
the global financial crisis after crisis? Then, what is stopping the growth potentials of ‘IF’ industry is tapped. It’s, just like the tip of
industry of becoming the main stream banking & finance system the iceberg, 80% is largely untapped mainly due to lack of
appealing to the global market to serve both the Muslims as well as understanding and awareness as to “what Islamic Finance is all
the non-Muslims? Is it ‘Awareness’, ‘Education’ and/or the about”?

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 43


“…only 20% of the market opportunities and growth potentials of IF industry is
tapped, just like the tip of the iceberg, and 80% is largely untapped mainly due
to lack of understanding and awareness as to “what Islamic finance is all
about?”

In most of the countries where there is an Islamic bank, two or more, Today, the mandates of bringing awareness to the masses is
the target market is confined to the Muslim community only? As if confined to those Islamic Finance Infrastructure Institutions (IFIIs)
‘IF’ is only confined to the Muslims and not for the non-Muslims, like, IFSB, AAOIFI, CIBAFI, IIFM, IRTI, IIRA, etc., through their
who are indeed looking for alternatives to the conventional modes of annual forums, conferences and symposiums held once or twice a
banking & finance. year. This has to change from annual events to a day to day affair
bringing awareness to the general public is onus on all the
Why this focus? Again due to lack of understanding, awareness and stakeholders of the Islamic finance industry, mainly the institutional
education on the subject of ‘IF’ and its enormous benefits that could players, practitioners, Shari’ah scholars etc., who should have
accrue to all mankind, irrespective of what color, sects, race, religion planned awareness and educational events to reach out to the public
or ethnic group they belongs to. every nook and corner of the country through various channels –
news media, TV, satellites, social media, Q&A forums, live, online,
The primary challenge of some of the existing Islamic Financial virtual chats etc.
Institutions (IFIs) is not attracting new Muslim customers to the
Islamic finance fold, but how to retain those who are already This needs a budget allocation by all the IFIs for planned events
patronizing, while some of those although not satisfied with the mainly to bring public awareness and educating the masses (not only
level of services and offerings compared with that of their the Muslim community but the entire humanity at large), which will
conventional counterparts but still stay put, with all the bickering, definitely add value to the bottom lines of the IFIs.
mainly due to the Shari’ah layer or comfort. However, majority of
them move back to conventional banking or to any new IFI that has More the general public, from all walks of life, understand what the
open doors, seeking better customer services, wide range of product ‘IF’ is all about and experiences proper conduct of IFIs, not only the
offerings coupled with excellent distribution channels – the pricing Muslims are going to rally around and patronize IFIs the non-
and returns become secondary and then comes Shari’ah compliance Muslims too will join the bandwagon not mainly due to Shari’ah
for them. compliance but due to excellent customer services and the ethical
values portrayed in every transaction and activity undertaken by the
IFIs.

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 43


That’s on ‘Awareness’, let’s come back to the ‘Educational improve their lives, financial and investment choices - through
Programs’ in building professionals in the field of Islamic Finance equity participation, risk sharing and fair dealings.”
who could take this industry to yet another paradigm given the
appetite and the global attractions to the Industry aftermath of the To get these graduates and students who are looking for a career and
global financial crisis after crisis. to fill one of those million jobs needed up to 2020, as per the
researchers, need to pursue on programs that really make them
With all due respect, most of the educational institutions that are professionally qualified as an iBanker (Islamic Banker) whilst
offering a certificate, diploma, a degree or a PhD level program in retaining their specialization or their field of choice namely, ICT,
Islamic finance drumbeats that they are sharing practice (not theory) human resources, Shari’ah, product development, sales, marketing,
with students and making them ready to take up positions in the legal, financing, accounting, management etc.
Islamic banking and finance industry.
Keeping in mind, these current demands for professional Islamic
The other day, a dear friend of mine, asked me a question, soliciting Bankers who can ‘raise the bar’ of the IFIs, in particular, and the IF
my views as a seasoned professional in the Islamic Finance (IF) industry, in general, the First Global Academy (FGA) have rolled
industry, trying to see what I thought the prospects were for those out the iBanker Certificate, Diploma and Executive Diploma
young people looking to enter the Islamic Finance industry and programs to the global market (both in campus and online), for those
'make a difference'. who would like to enter at different levels from 16+ years onwards.

He said, “The story these young graduates keep telling me is that Becoming an iBanker, in a chosen field, by following these FGA
there are simply no jobs on offer – which seems to be at odds with programs not only groom students to take up any entry level or a
the headlines that we keep seeing proclaiming that the ‘IF’ industry higher position in any IFI but also makes them to look at ‘banking &
is 'growing at 20% per year.” finance’ from yet another perspective. That is, as ‘Entrepreneurs’.

My response was “Those seeking greener pastures or opportunities “Islamic bankers are not mere bankers from a conventional sense,
in the IF industry are unfortunately knocking at the wrong doors or where accepting deposits and lending are the core competencies of
are ill equipped - the regional and global markets are opening up for conventional bankers to have the maximum spread between the two.
Islamic finance – so be ready”. Whereas the Islamic bankers and finance specialists focus on
profit/loss sharing by using the funds on economic generating
Further, I mentioned that, “being in the IF industry over the last two investing and trading activities to make a profit and share that profit
decades, I strongly believe that the bigger the global financial crisis with all the depositors and shareholders, whilst protecting the fabric
is the greater the opportunities are to all the stakeholders in the of our society without engaging in activities prohibited and harmful
Islamic finance industry, which can provide solutions to millions of to the society”.
people (both Muslims and non-Muslims) all over the world to

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 44


Muhammed Ikram Thowfeek (MIT) is currently the Founder of
“I strongly believe that bigger the First Global Group and Group CFO of QAF Holdings Group. He is
a Chartered Accountant by profession and an Islamic Banker by
global financial crisis is the greater practice. To date, he has gained a wealth of knowledge and
experience in auditing, management consultancy, financial control,
the opportunities are to all the strategic planning & budgeting, Islamic banking & finance, retail,
stakeholders in the IF industry, commercial and investment banking, Islamic capital and global
Sukuk (Islamic Bonds) market, training and career development
which can provide solutions to etc., through his diverse positions held in various organizations
(Ernst & Young, Kuwait Finance House, First Islamic Investment
millions of people (both Muslims Bank, International Islamic Financial Market, Commercial Bank of
and non-Muslims) all over the Qatar, Barwa Bank, QAF Holdings Group, First Global Group).

world to improve their lives, Mr. Thowfeek is a startup specialist and has set up number of
financial and investment choices – Islamic Banks (IBs) and Islamic Financial Institutions (IFIs) in the
ME region, both fully fledged Islamic Banks and independent IB
through equity participation, risk branches of conventional banks, from scratch.

sharing and fair dealings” He is an Associate Member of the Institute of Chartered


Accountants (ACA) of Sri Lanka, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute
of Management Accountants (FCMA), Chartered Global
Management Accountant (CGMA) of the UK, a Member of the
With the mindset of grooming an iBanker to be an iEntrepreneur
Institute of Financial Consultants (MIFC) of the USA, a Member of
(Islamic Entrepreneur) too, we will be sharing only Practice,
the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments (MCSI) of the
Practice & Practice of Islamic finance and our lecturers panel are
UK and a Certified Islamic Banker.
geared up to do so and equipped with practical knowledge and
exposure in setting up IFIs in the Middle East (ME) region from
scratch. They know and very well aware what’s happening in the
kitchen of those institutions and the expectations of the customers.
Indeed, there is a wide gap persist between the expectations of the
customers and the reality; we have to narrow down this gap to reach
out to as many people as we can with Islamic finance offerings
bringing benefits to all (both Muslims and non-Muslims alike) “to
improve their lives, financial and investment choices - through
equity participation, risk sharing and fair dealings.”

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 45


PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION IN ISLAMIC FINANCE
Professor Dr. Syed Othman Alhabshi, Chief Academic Officer, INCEIF

The best practice especially in the banking industry is to recruit Twenty-five years later, another sociology professor who happened
staff from various backgrounds. There are occasions where the staff to read the report sent two hundred of his Masters students to the
is not from the disciplines related to economics and finance. They same slum area to find out from the same two hundred children who
can be engineers, medical doctors, quantity surveyors, lawyers, etc. were the subject of that study twenty-five years earlier. They found
The main reason is that most of the tasks involved in banking can be that out of two hundred children, only one hundred eighty three
easily learnt by those from different background. I know a were around. The other seventeen have either moved out of the area
statistician who was given a chance to work in an Islamic bank. or have passed away. The Masters students found that all the one
Eventually he became one of the most efficient senior staff of the hundred and eighty-seven children who are now about 35 years old
bank. We also know of engineers and lawyers who do extremely have actually succeeded in life. Some are engineers, others are
well in the banking industry. Learning from such experience, it lawyers, doctors, teachers, corporate executives, etc. They then
would be a proper practice for students of Islamic finance to come asked how come they were so successful. The answer was, “there
from various academic backgrounds. This will certainly enrich the was a teacher”. The two hundred Masters students asked around to
discussions in class because the body of students would have find the teacher who happened to be an old lady of about seventy
differing views from various perspectives, skewed to their years old. When she was asked how come those children who were
background. considered to have no chance to make it in life have now achieved
tremendous success, she answered with a broad smile on her face, “I
I for one strongly believed that the students would do extremely well LOVE THEM ALL”.
if the professor shows tremendous patience in nurturing them inside
and outside classroom. I read of a story of a sociology professor who I strongly believe that the approach to be adopted in nurturing
wanted to know whether the young children of about 10 years old, students whoever they are is to show them the respect, the
in a particular slum area in US would make it in life or not. He sent confidence we have in them, the dedication and commitment we
two hundred of his MBA students to the slum area and selected two give them to really make them successful in life. It is not just the
hundred children to find out if they would make it in life. Based on quality of students that we have but more importantly what our real
the environment, the way they dressed, the materials they wear, etc. intention is when teaching them.
the two hundred MBA students had only one answer. They all
agreed that these children will never make it in life

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 47


“..the biggest challenge is acute shortage of human talents who have very high
technical knowledge and at the same time have excellent Shariah knowledge”
Having a very comprehensive programme with high quality Such a view simply denies the benefits that Islamic finance as
curriculum and content is very essential to produce the talents we practiced today has brought about to society. Those who adopted
need in any field. Of course we also need quality students with the this view do not have the alternative system that could resolve the
positive attitude to learn. Above all, we need the right approach to problem of those poor and not bankable. The challenge then is how
coach, train and educate the students in the most effective way. to ensure that there is financial inclusion. One possible answer is
Islamic microfinance.
One of the major challenges in producing the right type of talent in
Islamic finance is to provide them with the right input so that they Although Islamic finance is growing at a faster rate than
would be able to manage and handle all situations that they face in conventional finance, which under present circumstances is
the industry. This is a major challenge because Islamic finance as a unstoppable, the biggest challenge is acute shortage of human
subject or discipline of study is still very new. We do not have talents who have very high technical knowledge and at the same
standard texts for all the subjects that we teach. Most of the time, we time have excellent Shariah knowledge. We have also observed
use texts that are not complete and hence have either to use many many qualifications in Islamic finance that have been introduced to
texts or to be added with our own materials. This poses a problem of the market that do not provide the right level, quality and scope of
standardization or harmonization, especially with regards to Shariah, the subject. We need to find ways of attracting students to the right
principles or concepts and products. We know that there are programmes so that the objective of bringing Islamic finance to the
conflicting views on Shariah matters between jurisdictions. Hence next level can be effectively achieved.
we do get products that are acceptable in one market but rejected in
other markets. Even these differences are not considered as major
issues. This is because those conflicting views can be explained and Professor Dr. Syed Othman Alhabshi is the Chief Academic Officer
such conflicts do get mitigated. at INCEIF. Since November 1969, Prof Syed Othman has served in
various academic capacities in five leading universities in the
There is yet a bigger challenge where some scholars simply feel that country. He has also served in various capacities on the boards of a
the current practice of Islamic banking and finance are not Shariah number of organizations including takaful and investment
compliant because the beneficiaries do not include the poor and the companies in Malaysia and Pakistan. He has written and published
have-nots. They prefer to take the view that the benefits of Islamic more than 200 articles and books.
banks today which directly benefit the rich and the bankable only
have ignored one of the objectives of Maqasid Shariah that is meant
to bring about benefits to all and sundry and not confined only to the
rich and bankable.

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 48


ISLAMIC MICROFINANCE EDUCATION: THE CRITICAL NEED,
OPPORTUNITY & WAY FORWARD
Muhammad Zubair Mughal, Chief Executive Officer, AlHuda CIBE
Islamic Microfinance means micro financing through interest free Absence of specialized education in Islamic Microfinance,
modes to the financially deprived and poor people to generate particularly, is the crucial fact in Islamic Microfinance Industry,
economic activities and making them self employed for the ultimate which is one of the hurdles for the promotion of the industry as well.
economic prosperity. As per the latest research of Centre of There is an immediate need to initiate comprehensive degree
Excellence in Islamic Microfinance of AlHuda CIBE, the global programs on Islamic Microfinance globally. If we look into the main
Islamic Microfinance volume has reached at US $1 billion with challenges of Islamic microfinance, the lack of awareness and
persistent growth and serving about 1.3 million beneficiaries but the education fall on the top. Islamic Microfinance Industry is facing lot
share of Islamic Microfinance by less than 1% of overall volume of of criticism in different aspects e.g. acceptability of Islamic Finance
Islamic Finance (US $1.3 trillion), unveils its misfortune. As per the because of lack of awareness, education and religious consciousness
expert view it is stated that the Islamic Microfinance education is the are the main challenges to Islamic Microfinance Industry.
ultimate way to make Islamic Microfinance practicing and let the
people aware of the Islamic Microfinance on global canvas for its The expensive education of Islamic microfinance is also a
acceptability. The main hindrance to the Islamic microfinance discouraging factor for the Islamic Microfinance learners which
behind successful execution is instant acceptability caused by lack should be subsidized and funded by Donor agencies e.g. IFC, World
of awareness. The concept of Islamic microfinance is recently Bank and IDB etc. The 46% of whole world poverty exists in
developed dimension for micro financing to operate on Islamic Muslim World while Muslim population in the world is 26%, so
modes and started in early 1960 from Latin America and South East Islamic Microfinance can potentially be used for poverty alleviation
Asia but Bangladesh has significant contribution to originate and by social awareness programs through proper channels and
approach the concept of Islamic Micro financing. The Islamic micro educationists of Islamic Micro Finance realizing its importance and
financing is being done through different models such as: Gramin optimal results.
Model, Credit Union and Self Help Group in particulars but the
microfinance sector is looking forward a compatible brain well Muhammad Zubair Mughal is the Chief Executive Officer of
trained and equipped to practice Islamic Microfinance using these AlHuda Centre of Islamic Banking and Economics (CIBE). He has
models prudently. It is observed there are no specialized institutions been working consistently for last nine years for poverty alleviation
for the education of Islamic Microfinance in particular. through Islamic Microfinance concept; he can be reached at
zubair.mughal@alhudacibe.com

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 49


TALENT DEVELOPMENT IN THE ISLAMIC FINANCE INDUSTRY:
NEEDED OR NOT?
Joy Abdullah, Head of Marketing & Communication, INCEIF
More and more educational institutions, around the world, are These two trends, amidst the backdrop of the global financial crises
offering degree programs and diplomas in Islamic Finance and that forced organizations to make do with available talent resources,
banking. This is a good sign as it indicates that the growing global gives us the background of where talent development in the Islamic
Islamic finance industry has a rising demand for competent and finance industry is at presently.
trained talent.
Whilst respective international financial centers are attempting
Given that the industry is in growth mode why can’t those certain actions towards a formal talent development policy, on its
undertaking industry qualifications get jobs? own initiative, the global industry is yet to take up this issue as a
critical one.
“57,000 new Islamic Finance jobs? How not to get one!” This was
a headline from a leading online news provider about eight months Talent is the most crucial element in the success of an organization.
ago. Recruiting, engaging and managing the talent, career planning and
developing the talent to be an organizational leader, all of these
Whilst industry news reports spout various numbers, by countries, of ensure sustainable growth and success of an organization. For the
the qualified talent requirement, the scenario on ground belies the Islamic finance industry lining up the ducks that result in excellent
fact that the industry organizations are doing anything concrete talent will only be beneficial in all ways.
towards talent development. Studying the industry shows two clear
trends: A key first step is to define what talent is. A common definition,
across the industry, would help in establishing parameters that
1. Most Islamic finance operations started as windows. The would aid in developing a talent development policy, at an industry
conventional products were ‘wrapped’ in an Islamic cover and level, and aid in developing their independent talent management
offered out. Inadvertently such a practice impacted the talent strategy.
recruitment practice of an organization wherein the preference
was for regular conventional finance qualifications. Some key parameters to put in place would be:
2. Factor in the lack of industry and academia collaboration i. Clear set of competencies and a grid to score on, identifying areas
resulting in slow development of professional standards and the of development.
required practical educational content. ii. Identifying talent based on these competencies.

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 50


iii. Ensure the organization has an environment that speaks to At a country level, this would act as a stimulus for the financial
personal growth – people must not only want to get better but must services and the education sector. As the collaborations are actioned,
be allowed to, as well. the talents recruited directly by the organizations will create a
“word-of-mouth’ scenario through social media by talking about
iv. Lastly ensure identified talent has progressively meaningful their jobs. This in turn will lead to potential talents looking at the
work and gaining influence. These are two critical success factors industry and evaluating career benefits. From there it’s a short step
for talented staff in terms of retention and productivity. to obtain required qualifications. So the academic institutions start
benefiting as demand for their programme rises. Net result the
The second step would be the route of collaborations between industry gains by having a continuous pool of planned for talent that
industry organizations and academia and actively investing in the has the competencies the industry wants.
collaboration to obtain the desired quality talent. As talent is a
primary requirement of the organizations in keeping their business At an international level centralized collaborations, between industry
running, the lead on this has to come from the organizations bodies in different financial centers, will bring together
themselves. The way forward could be to collaborate with the organizations and academia to work on enhancing specific areas of
academic institutions’ for research requirements that the the existing academic content. This, in turn, will facilitate generation
organizations need to grow their business. of cross-border academic content. Which benefits talents all round
by providing them the cross-jurisdiction knowledge they need.
Thirdly, use the output of the research to develop case studies that
can then become part of academic programme content in order to For a talent this provides a huge benefit as he or she becomes a “true
provide a more experiential knowledge base for incoming talents. knowledge worker” and is able to value-add to an organization
Lastly, a globally accepted set of competency standards needs to be irrespective of the geographical market.
in place as the guideposts to what is expected from the talents in
terms of educational qualifications. A common grouse of the industry CEOs is on the issue of ‘how can
the sharia specialists understand the bottom-line business pressures
There are dual benefits of having in place an industry focused talent and how can the commercial specialists understand there are strict
development policy. ethical principles to adhere to.” This constant mode of internal
challenge actually inhibits progress.
I. Locally the organizations would be seeding in the
competencies they seek in a talent, through the collaborations So what can the global industry do in aiding the organizations in
with academia. resolving this issue, as a start towards having effective talent
II. The talent gains both knowledge and competencies that the development strategies?
industry organizations require to keep their business growing.

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 51


1. Co-create short training content that provides an overview for the But talent development will remain on the backbench, unless and
respective teams i.e. the sharia specialists get a business overview until, organizations take it upon themselves to align their business
and how their decision impact a business’s bottom line & the goal, organizational values and talent competencies and approach
commercial specialists get an overview of what are the key the academia with what they need.
guidelines to know in ensuring they can deliver a sharia compliant
product.

Taking it one level down, at an organizational level, the team i.e. of


“..talent development will remain on
commercial and sharia specialists could perhaps be given “joint” the backbench, unless and until,
business targets for achievement and joint rewards for achievement.
organizations take it upon themselves
This would bring about joint talent development in the organizations to align their business goal,
and allow them to maximize the knowledge and competency of their
talents for the benefit of the organization. organizational values and talent
2. Accept and Implement a common global standard for
competencies and approach the
qualifications— like other professional qualifications develop and academia with what they need.”
implement a global standard for qualifications, including short term
courses, which all educational institutions and educational service
providers have to adhere to.
Joy Abdullah is the head of marketing & communication at INCEIF
This will bring about a rise in the quality of the talent as well as – The Global University of Islamic Finance
enable the industry organizations to have a standard on which they
can base their recruitment policies. The opinions expressed is a personal point of view of the author and
is not an opinion from or on behalf of INCEIF.
The advantage the Islamic finance industry organizations have, vis-
à-vis other industries, is that there are vast amounts of expertise
from their conventional counterparts already available for use rolling
out effective talent development plans.

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 52


We would like to thank…

We would like to thank the following individuals and organizations for their moral support, assistance, and intellectual
contributions in this report.

Sameer Hasan, Business Director, Ethica Institute of Islamic Finance


Muhammed Ikram Thowfeek, Chairman & Founder, First Global Group
Muath Mubarak, Lecturer of Islamic Banking and Finance, First Global Academy
Dr. Syed Othman Alhabshi, Professor & Chief Academic Officer, INCEIF
Joy Abdullah, Head of Marketing & Communication, INCEIF
Muhammad Zubair Mughal, Chief Executive Officer, AlHuda CIBE
Almir Colan, Director, Australian Centre for Islamic Finance

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 53


Commitment
Islamic Economics &
Finance
Focus
Education

Strength
Research and Marketing
Second Nature
Creativity
Appendix: List of Institutions (Academic)

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 55


Appendix: List of Institutions (Non-Academic)

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 56


Thank You!

For any questions, please email us at contact@yurizk.com

Sources of data: Yurizk Research

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The report is presented for research and information purposes only and not intended to give advise on any investment decision related to the
subject matter. Yurizk do not assume any responsibility for any losses that may arise from the usage of information from this report by any individual
or organization.

Global Islamic Finance Education 2013 57